(325b) Novel Approach to Material Selection: A Joint Venture of Multiscale Simulations and LCA
In this work, we present a case study for the material substitution of a four-stroke marine engine plastic cylinder head cover, commonly made of aluminium alloys. Accordingly, different NETPs have been computationally evaluated and ranked in order to find the best compromise between mechanical properties and material costs. To reach this goal, a multiscale molecular modelling approach has been adopted in which the results from the atomistic scale have been used as inputs for the simulation of the final product performed with Finite Elements Method (FEM).
Finally, in order to have a complete scenario of the replacement of aluminium with the selected NETP, a detailed Life Cycle Assessment related to the different material products has been performed in order to identify the most sustainable product design using a cradle to grave life cycle perspective on openLCA v1.8.0. While performing Life Cycle Inventory, we were able to embed data provided by the actual suppliers and manufacturers, including geographical specific contributions, waste production, energy consumption and processing details. Well-established impact categories have been adopted for Life Cycle Impact Analysis in order to abide by the state-of-the-art of LCA practice. Finally, the main contributions to the whole product life cycle have been identified, highlighting the critical phases with the aim of applying the essential improvement for reducing the product-related impacts.